ForumTouchy Subjects ► ‘New’ sexualities and identities.
Y’all know what this is.
  
As someone who is a member of what was recently considered (and to be honest, is still considered to many people) a frivolous/made up/snowflake-y/etc. sexuality, I have feelings about this topic.
I spent years feeling really, really shitty about myself because I had been told, repeatedly, that I was faking it, doing it for attention, that I was sour grapes, etc. It sucks to think that you might have things figured out, only to be met with immediate hostility and vitriol. All those feelings of relief and euphoria at finally having some sort of explanation and some group where you might actually fit, just outright crushed the moment you open up about it.
So naturally I'm not a big proponent of dismissing the 'new' sexualities and identities off the bat. People are complicated and have complicated feelings, and anything that they can do to make some sense of them, I'm all behind.
I feel like one major reason that people get upset at more recently-coined terms is that they feel the existence of these new identities either threatens their worldview, or invalidates or cheapens their experiences. It's easy to feel that something is frivolous and unnecessary, especially when you've never heard of it before, but much like how the existence of gay marriage doesn't magically reduce the worth of heterosexual marriage, I don't think (in most cases) the distinction of new identities cheapens the meaning of already-existing ones. The argument can be made that some of these 'new' identities are just cisgender/heterosexual people trying to 'get in' on the LGBTQ+ community for oppression olympics reasons. Maybe some of them are. But I think that 1) A community explicitly formed for the inclusion of people who are different and actively trying to normalize their place in society isn't served well by trying to gatekeep and discriminate and 2) You're going to hurt a lot more people than you help by this gatekeeping. After all, just a few years ago I would've been told to fuck off in many legbutt spaces, and now many of them have done a 180. Opinions change. It's better to invite dialogue than to try and keep people out. It's not like they're going use up all your flour or something.
And some members of the legbutt+ community do get hostile when people 'not in the know' start asking questions about things that they think everyone should know the answers to. It can be really off-putting to people who are genuinely curious. And because people are complicated and have complicated feelings, the terminology and distinctions are naturally complicated, too. A lot of people get turned off of their curiosity because they ask the question 'what's the difference between bi and pan' and get an angry rant instead of an answer.
On the other hand, it can get really tiring to have to basically give a fifteen-minute presentation every time you come out to someone. Especially when some of the really common questions are about personal or sensitive things. Education is important, but not everyone wants to be an advocate.

I guess the middle ground here, like in many topics, is 'don't be a dick'. People aren't usually trying to be a bad person.
  
Straight people ‘try to get in on’ queer community? Really? Bear in mind that I’m a cis gay dude who almost only interacts with cis straight dudes.

On gate keeping: I understand that. What I’ve been constantly confused by is why anyone would really want to be a part of legbutts. And note that I’m not using the plus. You’ll see after this sentence. Legbutts aren’t exactly respected people. Are they? Open minded straight people speak the fuck up, stop it with the silly “I don’t wanna look like a bigot” stuff. I hear abour and read posts by aromantic people and asexual people on various websites and I’ll think “Wait you’re removed from the problem altogether, right? Why you do you want to have to be a part of us? You can if you want, but it seems like an invitation for more abuse.”
  
People like being part of a marginalized group, especially when they don't actually suffer from being in that group, because it gives them a sense of righteousness. It might be a bit of a straw-man viewpoint that cis/straight people are trying to 'steal valor' (to use a metaphor) of the legbutt community. I haven't met anyone in real life who I felt was just trying to say they were a part of the LGBTQ+ community for kicks and giggles. Online, sure, where people are desperate to appear cool and interesting, and won't suffer much from real-life discrimination or hatred.

And I would not say that Ace/Aro people are 'removed from the problem alltogether'. Many people face discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence because of their asexuality[1][2]. The big issue has been that it's not a widely known or recognized orientation, so the response to "I'm Ace" might not be "God says you'll burn in hell" (though it might be), but instead "No you're not, that's not a real thing". Awareness is on the rise, mostly thanks to the LGBTQ+ community.
And yes, being part of the legbutt community might bring on some more discrimination. But at least you won't have people going through their life thinking they're broken, mentally ill, and alone, or forcing themselves (or being forced) into deeply unhealthy relationships because they think it's just what you're supposed to do. I'd rather be hated by other people than to hate myself. At least as a legbutt, you have support and resources from the community.
  
I mean, the dominant cishet, allosexual, etc culture has a fairly rigid set of expectations for everyone to conform to. Anyone outside that set of expectations is going to have some common cause. Are ace/aro folks really much different from closeted LGBTQ folks? or bi people in "straight" relationships? or trans people who "pass" consistently? You don't have to be super visibly different to be alienated by cishet culture and suffer all the internal and external consequences of that alienation.

As far as new identities in general go... any community is alluring, so yes some cishets will try to find a way in, especially in more tolerant areas where increasing acceptance has significantly reduced the risks of being openly LGBTQ+. Also, in some communities, identity is basically an effective shield against criticism, and claiming a place in the LGBTQ+ community is probably the easiest way to add that shield to your arsenal. Most of these folks probably aren't doing any harm and might even be closeted, so I think it's good to be mostly accepting. Identity should be considered as context in weighing the value of someone's contribution, not a universal defense against criticism, so in a healthy community it shouldn't be hard to take out the trash.
The other "infiltrators" one might worry about (speaking of trash) are trolls, but they're usually about as subtle as a dragon in a fireworks factory, and if you judge identities on a good set of values, nothings gonna slip through thats actually harmful.

In short, the right general community standards will do a better job of deciding who's allowed in than trying to arbitrarily police individual labels (I might expand on what these standards should look like later, but I'm too tired to put it into words right now).
  
Coldfrost said:
the response to "I'm Ace" might not be "God says you'll burn in hell" (though it might be)
In case anyone couldn't tell, the first link is parody. The second one just seems to be conflating sex categories with sexual behavior.

I don't care what categories people assign themselves to as long as everyone leaves everyone else alone.
  
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ5K44Fa7YCcdPLjOIwd4M7hthy26pInyZz7sOJeexSrDKXtT3qNJBHXUE:https://i.ytimg.com/vi/T9qXojDCJss/maxresdefault.jpg
  
You do realize most of that url is unnecessary and designed to capture your behaviour, don't you?

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/T9qXojDCJss/maxresdefault.jpg will get you there.
  
Ok, cis gay dude here. My 2 cents, most of the new 'sexualities' are just... unnecessary. For example, demisexual. You need a strong emotional bond to have sexual relations with someone. That's... literally everyone outside of the hookup culture. I just think it's people trying to find better ways to express how they feel, but invalidating the rest of the community by oversaturating it in new sexualities. But that's just some nobody's opinion
  
You're thinking about it like an engineer. : )
  
Ok, cis gay dude here. My 2 cents, most of the new 'sexualities' are just... unnecessary. For example, demisexual. You need a strong emotional bond to have sexual relations with someone. That's... literally everyone outside of the hookup culture. I just think it's people trying to find better ways to express how they feel, but invalidating the rest of the community by oversaturating it in new sexualities. But that's just some nobody's opinion


Not exactly, with regards to demisexual. Demisexual is where you don't feel attraction at all without a strong emotional bond, not just that you don't have sex. For example, have you ever seen someone who you didn't know well and think, "oh my, you're attractive!" and feel a few butterflies flutter? Someone who is demisexual would never feel that with someone they don't already know intimately emotionally.


That said, I do think that trying to define people too granularly isn't productive and often leads to discord.
  
I don’t care what anyone says is a sexuality except pedophilia. That’s not a sexuality. Full stop. I can understand where they’re coming from (in the sexuality argument, not the attraction to children part)but I DO NOT SUPPORT THEM.
  
How is pedophilia not a sexuality? It's abnormal, unhealthy, and (when practiced) immoral, but that doesn't mean it's not a type of sexual attraction.
  
I think azerty means it should not be seen as acceptable like other sexualities not previously recognized.
  
Pedophilia isn't a sexuality the same way "liking tall men" isn't a sexuality. Or, perhaps a better comparison, "liking feet" isn't a sexuality.
  
I can tell that they're different, but can you share some rule or test that shows whether or not they're sexualities?
  
I know this sounds dumb, but I think a "sexuality" is in part defined by romantic attraction. (Not trying to invalidate people who have split romantic/sexual preferences).

To the best of my knowledge (plus fifteen minutes of googling), pedophiles don't really experience romantic attraction to children. That is, they don't "crush" on children, they don't desire them as equal members of a relationship, they don't fall in love with children. Children are just part of their sexual fantasies - just an object to act upon in order to receive gratification. When they do speak about a long-term "relationship" with a child, it's about how hot they think that scenario is - it's not like "Wow my girlfriend Amy is just, the funniest kid, I love her so much, being around her brings joy to my life. I want more than anything to make her happy." You just see a fixation on the sexual aspects, and nothing that reads like love.

A pedophile doesn't fall in love with a child - no more than a shoe fetishist falls in love with a shoe.

I apologise if this was TMI or is now disjointed, I cut out some stuff and it's hard to reread for clarity on my phone.
  
How is pedophilia not a sexuality? It's abnormal, unhealthy, and (when practiced) immoral, but that doesn't mean it's not a type of sexual attraction.
Pedophilia involves the inability to separate the concepts of a child’s mind from an adult’s mind. Read through Nambla’s website or read people like Peter Lamborn Wilson - they say things like “Children have the right to relationships”, “children have the same rights as adults”, “children are sexual by nature”, “children have sexual desires and it’s not abnormal or bad for those desires to be fulfilled by an adult.” Peter Lamborn Wilson wrote about fantasies to bring boys out to his cabin in the woods and hike with them and show them nature and develop a loving and nurturing relationship with them... that was also sexual. He described little boys as, iirc, “the epitome of sexuality”.

The thing is they do, fwip. Look, don’t go on the dark corners of the internet, but if you find the right websites, you’ll find people infatuated with little kids and child actors. I mean, if you’d like, I can supply evidence, but... I don’t think anyone wants that. They *do* say things exactly like “My boyfriend Timmy is the best little boy ever I love him so much”.

Attraction to children is odd. It can present itself as simply a sexual fixation on children or full blown “children have rights too and that means having sex with me”.
  
I'm not really qualified to say from a psychological perspective where the line is between a sexuality and a strong paraphilia, but from a social perspective, a sexuality should at least be something that can be reciprocated in kind by all parties involved. Children and animals can't reciprocate or give consent in a meaningful way which rules out pedophilia and bestiality.
  
I guess my experience in those dark corners is different than yours.
  
I’m not validating. I don’t even get why pedophilia is being brought up as a sexuality, the DSM lists it as a paraphilic disorder and the ICD calls it a parahilia and that’s under the broader category “Mental, behavioral and neurodevelopmental disorders”. Not much to need to be educated on or be an expert about, they’ve already told us what it is.

https://www.icd10data.com/ICD10CM/Codes/F01-F99/F60-F69/F65-/F65.4
“ICD-10-CM Codes › F01-F99 Mental, Behavioral and Neurodevelopmental disorders › F60-F69 Disorders of adult personality and behavior › F65- Paraphilias ›
2018/2019 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code F65.4

Pedophilia”

https://www.docdroid.net/file/download/bc2i8sN/dsm-5.pdf
Page 685 of the book, page 729 of the PDF.
  
My understanding is that modern-day "pedophilia is a sexuality" proponents are largely bad-faith trolls, trying to get the LGBT community to discredit itself by defending pedophiles. Not to get too tin-foil hat here, but I've seen a couple of 4chan posts to that effect.

I think in the 80's/early 90's, NAMBLA was trying to make inroads in that direction, but I don't know how successful they actually were.
  
Oh you’re so right about that. I’ve definitely noticed that before and I also admit to having done that to troll certain online LGBT communities because... don’t ask the why of trolling, basically when I was younger there were only a handful of online LGBT communities I liked. Sadly I may have contributed to something bad, because from the dark corners I used to like to observe, it seemed like Nambla did a ‘good’ job at putting the idea of pedophilia as a legitimate sexuality in a small number of people’s minds. I noticed that in people who were old ass men, and then I also noticed it in some young people in one of the LGBT communities I used to use (one I actually liked, it’s sort of well known. EC.). From what I could gather about the younger users, it was something they toyed around with in their heads for the sake of ... young person brooding/thinking too much, or it was something kids who noticed they had non-heterosexual feelings at a really young age, and started feeling sexual attraction to other people at a really young age, felt they may have been afflicted with, but of course wanted someone to tell them “there’s nothing wrong with you”, but good luck convincing a teenager that they don’t have whatever condition they think they do. The way the threads would go would always be something like “I’m sixteen and I thought this 8th grader in my church was really cute last Sunday”.

These days though, I don’t think there are real pedophilia activist groups anymore. Thank God. If I ever find any... I’m going to have to do something about it if I can.
  
Fwip said:
Pedophilia isn't a sexuality the same way "liking tall men" isn't a sexuality. Or, perhaps a better comparison, "liking feet" isn't a sexuality.
This seems like an arbitrary distinction. I would still describe a man who wants to have sex with women but has no interest in a loving, caring, mutually respectful relationship with a woman as heterosexual, even though I'm sure we agree that that's not a healthy expression of sexuality.

As far as I can tell, the main difference between an uncommon sexual identity and a paraphilia is whether it's considered to be pathological. It was not long ago that mainstream society and psychologists believed homosexuality to be paraphilic. As far as I can tell, the depathologization of homosexuality resulted simply from evolving opinions about its harmfulness. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Fwip said:
My understanding is that modern-day "pedophilia is a sexuality" proponents are largely bad-faith trolls
And some are presumably sincere. Many societies throughout history have approved of various forms of pedophilia/pederasty.
  
As far as I can tell, the main difference between an uncommon sexual identity and a paraphilia is whether it's considered to be pathological. It was not long ago that mainstream society and psychologists believed homosexuality to be paraphilic. As far as I can tell, the depathologization of homosexuality resulted simply from evolving opinions about its harmfulness. Correct me if I'm wrong.
I'm inclined to believe this is pretty much the case, but it's kind of an intermediate step, because you can still come up with criteria for what we consider harmful. It's important at least acknowledge that those criteria exist because otherwise you're feeding into the slippery slope argument that the distinction is entirely arbitrary and if we accept any sexuality beyond straight it will lead to things like bestiality and pedophilia.
  
Forum > Touchy Subjects > ‘New’ sexualities and identities.